Friday, February 13, 2015

For the Love of God, Don't Go See 50 Shades of Grey.

[Trigger warnings for: rape, sexual assault, abuse and kink shaming]

[Please note: the author has not seen Fifty Shades of Grey or read the books. The author is an active member in the BDSM community and any quotes or comments on what the book has done is based off of an article which has been posted near the end.]

So, lets talk about consent. It's the most important part in relationships (casual or not).  Without consent, flirting is harassment. Without consent, touching or grabbing your partner is sexual assault. Without consent, trying to do anything sexual with a friend, partner, one night stand, etc. is rape. Now lets talk about kinks. Most people have a kink or two, ranging from hair pulling, spanking, biting and scratching to breath play, whips or floggers, bondage, rope and so many more. Just like how having consent with someone before you kiss, touch or have sex with someone, it's mandatory to have someones consent before you do anything kinky with anyone. With this being said, we're gonna have a much longer talk about Fifty Shades of Grey.

If you're unfamiliar with the book and movie series, it follows the story of Anastasia "Ana" Steele, a 21 year old college senior. While she and her best friend, Kate Kavanagh, are writing for their student newspaper, Kate asks Ana to cover for her for a meeting with the 27 year old massively successful and wealthy Christian Grey. The two eventually enter a Dominant/submissive (D/s for short) relationship. This is where the book gets bad. Really, really, really bad. This is largely due to the lack of consent on Christian's part, the abusive bullshit that he puts Ana through, the kink shaming that surrounds the book and how he seems to only care about himself and his climax.

Like I said when I started off this article, consent is mandatory. Adding BDSM onto the table of possibilities further cements the importance of it. BDSM can be dangerous if done incorrectly (ever had your circulation cut off by someone who doesn't know how to use rope correctly or who locks you too tightly with handcuffs?) and it requires talking things through beforehand to know what both of you are into, what you're okay with doing and what is totally off limits. Christian, however, doesn't seem to care too much about these things. For example, lets talk about one scene in which he doesn't just ignore Ana's consent, but completely disregards her saying, clear as day, "no."

Before I start, here's some context: Ana and Christian are at a dinner with Christian's family. Earlier in this chapter, Christian stole Ana's panties and teased her ("I bet you wish you had underwear") more then once due to the fact that she was wearing a dress. Even if he did have her consent, Christian decided to do this and what I'm about to quote below during dinner with his family.

"He places his hand on my knee – his fingers traveling up my thigh. My whole body tightens in response. No… not here, not now. I flush and shift, trying to pull away from him. His hands clamp down on my thigh, stilling me. I reach for my wine in desperation."

It gets worse.

"Christian, feigning interest in their conversation, puts his hand once more on my knee, and his fingers travel up my thigh. My breathing hitches and I press my thighs together in a bid to halt his progress. I can see him smirk"

I can't think of any reason why this would be hot. This is a man who is attempting to sexually assault his partner in front of his family after having seriously humiliated her by taking her underwear from her and who continues to be amused at her lack of consent.

A little later, as Christian is showing Ana around his parents house, this happens.

“My heels. I need to take my shoes off.”

“Don’t bother,” he says, and he bends down and scoops me over his shoulder. I squeal loudly with shocked surprise, and he gives me a ringing slap on my behind.

“Keep your voice down,” he growls.

Oh no… this is not good. My subconscious is quaking at the knees. He’s mad about something – could be José, Georgia, no panties, biting my lip. Jeez he’s easy to rile."

This also gets worse.

I hang on his hips as I’m tipped upside down, and he strides purposefully in the moonlight across the lawn.
Why?” I sound breathless, bouncing on his shoulder.
“I need to be alone with you.”
“What for?”
“Because I’m going to spank and then fuck you.”
 “Why?” I whimper softly.
“You know why,” he hisses.
“I thought you were an in-the-moment guy?” I plead breathlessly.
“Anastasia, I’m in the moment, trust me.”
No. No no no no no no no. A thousand times no.

Like the blog that I'm linking to below says, Ana hasn't consented. Not once has she agreed to sex and being spanked. Christian, who is well aware of the fact that Ana is scared, is doing what he's doing anyways.

There is a lot more in these 3 books. A lot more red flags, a lot more sexual assault and rape.

Everything I've mentioned about this can be found in this wonderful (be warned: it's loaded with potential triggers for rape, kink shaming, victim blaming and abuse) blog post.

Please, please don't see this movie. Go see Kingsmen (which looks awesome), rent John Wick (which is awesome and has some of the best action scenes I've seen in a film in a long while) or buy some of the games on sale on Steam right now! (I suggest Cthulhu Saves the World, The BIT.TRIP Collection or, if you're willing to buy it at it's current full price, Darkest Dungeon is a wonderfully dark, creepy and challenging title) The sequels are already confirmed, but if the movie keeps getting negative reviews and we avoid giving any more money to E.L. James and Universal Pictures, we might have a shot of getting those sequels canned.

This article was submitted anonymously by one of our staff writers.

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